FanDuel, DraftKings ban employees from playing daily fantasy games following leak.
Previously, employees were not allowed to play on their own site, but were free to play on others. This resulted in the scandal, as DraftKings employee Ethan Haskell was accused of the fantasy sports equivalent of insider trading. The allegations have not been proven (and DraftKings formally cleared Haskell of any wrongdoing), but the industry as a whole is now being held accountable for its lack of transparency, leading many to ask how protected proprietary information is.
On top of banning employees from playing on any daily fantasy site, FanDuel announced multiple steps to investigate and police itself, including the hiring of former federal judge and United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey to conduct an internal review of the company.
DraftKings was contacted for comment, but did not immediately respond (the post will be updated if the company does). To this point, DraftKings has only temporarily banned employees from daily fantasy.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins announced on Fox Business that DraftKings has also permenantly banned employees from playing on other sites:
“Now it’s clear that any of they shouldn’t be allowed to play on any of the public games on any of the competitor’s sites. So that’s a policy that we have put in place.”
Here’s the statement fromFanDuel:
Media reports yesterday raised issues concerning an employee from another fantasy site participating in our NFL Sunday Million contest last week. Trust with our players is core to our business and has always been our primary concern so we take any potential game integrity issue very seriously.
Based on everything we know thus far, there is no evidence indicating that the integrity of FanDuel’s contest was in any way compromised, or that non-public information was used for unfair advantage. That said, the incident has raised questions about the trust-based relationship we have with our players so just relying on what we know right now isn’t enough. That’s why we’re taking the following steps:
We have permanently banned our employees from playing any daily fantasy games for money, on any site. We will also require all customers to confirm that they are not an employee of any other third party fantasy site, and if they are, they will not be allowed to access our site.
We have asked former federal judge and United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey to review the facts and evaluate our internal controls, standards and practices. His mandate is to conduct a review to identify ways that we can ensure we are doing the right things to maintain the trust we have with our players. He will have the freedom and authority to look at any areas he thinks appropriate. We will ask him and his team at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to develop a set of recommendations for us to adopt and to highlight any areas where our controls can be strengthened.
We are also creating an internal advisory board, led by Michael Garcia of the Kirkland & Ellis law firm and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The advisory board will provide on-going advice, recommendations and guidance to ensure that we are always taking every step possible to ensure the integrity of our site and our games. We also look forward to speaking with regulators across the nation about how to define the right set of rules for our industry as it continues to grow.
FanDuel is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. The way fans have embraced our games is a clear sign that fantasy sports is here to stay.
It’s our job to ensure that as our company grows, so does our ability to ensure that our fans can be confident in the sanctity and integrity of every game, every day.